Child Custody & Access & Maintenance
Child custody, access, and maintenance matters are some of the most challenging cases we deal with. We understand how important your children are to you, so we strive to do all that we can to secure arrangements for you to spend time with them. We will take the time to understand you and your family, and work with you to build a solution that is in your best interests. We regularly help clients with all family and child law matters including child custody, child access and child maintenance.
In law, guardianship is a set of responsibilities, obligations and rights that parents (and in some circumstances, others) have in relation to a child. Guardians have the right to make decisions about certain aspects of the child’s life. Married parents are both automatically granted guardianship, however a father who is not married to the mother of his child will not automatically have guardianship rights.
Custody is the day-to-day care, upbringing and residency of dependent children – that is, any child under the age of 18. Where parents are divorced or separated, one parent will normally be granted custody and the other parent will be granted access. Custody can be a difficult legal matter for many parents, as both wish to spend as much time as possible with their children. In these circumstances, it is essential to have a specialist family lawyer to represent your interests.
Is it possible to have joint custody?
It is possible for parents to have joint custody, however both parents must agree to this and make appropriate arrangements. It can be useful to have the input of an experienced family lawyer to negotiate joint custody arrangements.
What is Child Access?
Child access is the right of a child to have contact with a parent that they do not live with. Child access can include visits, overnight stays and even going on holiday with their non-resident parent. Parents can agree arrangements for child access between themselves, but it may be useful to work with a solicitor to negotiate access.
When parents cannot agree about custody or access arrangements, either parent can apply to the court to determine which parent should have custody, and what access the other parent should be granted.
How Will the Court Make a Decision About Custody and Access?
When coming to a decision about which parent should be granted custody and access arrangements, the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount concern. A child has the right to see both parents, this will only be denied where the court believes it is in the best interests of the child.
What is Child Maintenance?
Parents have a legal responsibility to provide maintenance to dependent children – any child under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if they are enrolled in full-time education. Maintenance payments can be negotiated between parents, with the assistance of a solicitor, or one parent can apply to the court for a maintenance order.
Contact our Child Law Solicitors in Carrigart and Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
If you need advice and assistance with child law matters, we can help. Based in Carrigart, our family lawyers help clients across Donegal, including Letterkenny, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Buncrana, Donegal Town, Carndonagh, Dungloe, Gweedore and Killybegs.We understand how important your children are to you, and will do all we can to protect your best interest.
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